WWI/WWII US Army Brodie Helmet -
The Brodie helmet, called Helmet, steel, Mark I helmet in Britain and the M1917 Helmet in the U.S., was a steel combat helmet designed and patented in 1915 by the Briton John L. Brodie. Colloquially, it was also called the shrapnel helmet or Tommy helmet, and in the United States known as a doughboy helmet.
A design patented in 1915 by John L. Brodie of London offered several advantages as it was constructed from a single piece that could be pressed from a single thick sheet of steel, giving it added strength.
Brodie's design resembled the medieval infantry kettle hat or chapel-de-fer, unlike the German Stahlhelm, which resembled the medieval sallet. It had a shallow circular crown with a wide brim around the edge, a leather liner, and a leather chinstrap. The helmet's "soup bowl" shape was originally designed to protect the wearer's head and shoulders from fragmentation falling from above. The shallow bowl design allowed the use of relatively thick steel that could be formed in a single pressing while maintaining the helmet's thickness. Although this made it more resistant to projectiles, the design offered less protection to the lower part of the head and neck than other designs.
The item featured here is a United States Army helmet. As issued in the early days of World War One.
This page is a recognition and identification guide for US hats and helmets. Multiple
detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined
points that should be noted.
One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my US headgear worth?".
A price guide is included here to address this question. The value of the hats and helmets
is reviewed over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth
of US militaria in the collector's market is illustrated.
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The helmet has a leather liner composed of a seried of fingers that point towards the crown.
The fingers are ties together using a string. This forms the suspension system. A couple of
brackets are welded to the side. This is how the canvis chin strap is attached.
The back of the helmet has the number 49 painted in black. This may be the unit to which
the soldier belonged.